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Siena Ferrari-Carano 1997 Sonoma County Siena ($24.99)
Year in and year out, Ferrari-Carano "Siena" is one of my favorite Italian-style wines from California. A blend of the Sangiovese of Chianti with Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, it's a fair clone of a "Super Tuscan," showing clear dark-ruby colors and ripe cherry-berry fruit aromas framed by spicy oak. Bright and fresh on the palate, it boasts juicy tart-cherry fruit structured with good fresh acidity. (Aug. 12, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with char-grilled lamb "riblets."

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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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